Monday, December 19, 2016

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

The stockings are hung. The tree is up. And my hand is cramping from writing holiday cards. It's that glorious time of year again! It's been a little harder getting in the spirit this go around. Often times my day is calm-  filled with Madison's purrs, Remi's cuddles, and Mike's laughter. Then I turn on the television or catch a fleeting glance on my cell phone of the world outside my own. I cannot help but feel the light in my soul flicker. 

It's important not to dwell. Take a break from watching the news. Give up your Facebook account like my husband. Do what you must to protect your heart and stay in the present. 

But don't give up. Fight back through acts of kindness, i.e. charity, volunteering, or supporting Fair Trade. Heck - just be kind to yourself and others. There's a great line from Faithfully Religionless: "Conflict arises when we want other people to validate our interpretation of the world by seeing it the same way we do. With that mentality, it's easy to see why wars start in the first place, right? The wars outside of us simply reflect the turmoil within. It's therefore inner peace that will lead to world peace, not the other way around." If there is hate in your heart - it will manifest. One by one, let's be the difference!

And so Santa, this year, more than any in the past, I wish for peace on Earth and good will towards all. If you can hook that up old man with the white beard, I will make you these cookies everyday forever. If you cannot, no hard feelings. But I cannot guarantee that you'll get these awesome cookies again!

These cookies are in the top five of my chocolate chip darlings. They're fascinating in that they don't necessarily need time to hang out in the fridge to firm up which means instant cookie goodness. In my paranoia, I still let them chill in the fridge! Old habit. I also added walnuts because they're always a good idea in chocolate chip cookies. For the chocolate chips, I did a mix of bittersweet (because darker is better) and this artisan Guittard semi-sweet chips. Not going to lie - it was like a moth to the flame when I saw the shiny packaging in the baking aisle. 

Note - this recipe uses SALTED BUTTER which I don't use for baking. The first time I made these, I did 3/4 teaspoon salt with unsalted butter and the husband said it was too much. Second go was 1/2 a teaspoon and I got the thumbs up.

Also, I would like to throw a quick tip out there for the frustrated cookie bakers. If you want to guarantee that your cookies won't be too thin and spread, try a little (or entirely like this recipe) bread flour. Adding just a tablespoon has an obvious effect in that the dough spreads less thanks to the extra gluten. 

So pour yourself a big cup of almond milk and enjoy some well deserved treats. Try to leave a few for Clause! Whatever you do or do not celebrate - Happy Holidays! Let's celebrate love and life! Sending great big hugs!

For the recipe, check out Pinch of Yum's post for Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies!